9/13/2010

Work At Home: Mystery Shopping

This week our Work at Home spotlight is on Danielle M! Danielle is a mystery shopper for apartment communities. This is her story:

After the agonizing back and forth with trying to find a daycare after my regular sitter could no longer watch my son, I was lucky enough to have an awesome opportunity land in my lap. My mom told me about a company that mystery shops apartment communities and she told me that she had a friend that was in the editing department and worked from home. A long string of events occurred and now I'm a pj-wearing work at home mama!

The company is one of the few mystery shopping companies that is legitimate and pays you for your work. I've heard that many companies will pay for your dinner to shop a restaurant, etc, but this company does not ask for anything out of pocket. While there are not any openings in the editing department, I wanted to tell you about the company because many people may be interested in a little extra cash from mystery shopping, but are nervous about getting involved with a company when there are so many scams out there.

Ellis (EPMS) is strictly apartment communities. I have seen shops from every state and the pay usually ranges from $20-$45 a shop. I love the editing aspect of it and it's an awesome job that allows me to spend nothing in childcare and I'm readily available for anything that my family needs. They are looking for reliable people in every part of the US and it would be an awesome way to start setting aside a little for Christmas or a vacation.

What hours do you work:
My hours are really whenever I want to work. With a 13 month old, I find I get most of my work done at night once my husband gets home. It's not unusual for me to work until 9 in the morning sometimes! I work around 30-35 hours a week editing and have been doing it since May of this year.

How can readers find more information:
The company that I work for is EPMS, Ellis Property Management Services. The website is www.epmsonline.com where it gives you a great rundown of the company, what it does, and provides information on becoming a shopper.

What can you expect to make:
I think that if a person devoted themselves to shopping, it wouldn't be unreasonable to do 3 shops a week at an average of $30 a shop. In one month I think someone could make around $400. It really depends on where the shopper lives, how many other shoppers are in the area, and how willing the shopper is to travel. For those of us in Houston, the shops are very abundant, but for someone in a rural area, they would need to be willing to travel and may not find the gas money worth it. Ultimately you decide when you want to accept a report.

I think mystery shopping is a great way to earn a little extra cash for anything, be it Christmas or a family vacation or just a little spending money.

Thank you so much Danielle!

Have any of you ever done mystery shopping? What are some other legitimate companies and what are your experiences?

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7 comments:

Michelle said...

My parents and brother all own fast food franchises, and they usehttp://www.shopnchekworldwide.com/ They do pay you for your time and any money you spent on the food. Since I have family, I can't do restaurant shops, but I did get a Sam's shop with a free year membership to Sam's Club! I'm not really sure you can earn a whole lot doing these type of shops (they pay min wage), but it's free meals out which is always nice:)

Michelle said...

To clarify, I can't do the restaurant shops because I have family who own restaurants who use the service!

:: danielle :: said...

I was a mystery shopper for years. I didn't make a lot of money but I did get a lot of things for free (food, groceries, products, etc). My only advice for those trying to get started is DO NOT pay for someone to get you leads! Everything you need to know is on the internet for free. Best of luck!

:: danielle :: said...

BTW, I am a different Danielle than the one featured in the article!

Danielle said...

LOL@ Danielle... I'm the Danielle from the article! And yes, you're right. You should never ever have to pay for mystery shopping experiences which is why I love EPMS so much. It does not require its shoppers to pay ANYTHING out of pocket. I have never done a shop myself (I think I'd be a nervous wreck!) but I think it's for anyone, whether you're super ambitious or you just want a little extra cash.

emily said...

I use one called www.marketforce.com
It is legit and you can do anything from food to movies and more. It is free to join and pretty easy. They dont pay awhole lot but you get free food or merchandise depending on the shop.

tink said...

I have been doing the mystery shopping for Corporate Research for about a year now. I have had alot of luck with them. They pay every week thru paypal.